WorkSafeBC unveils new option for employees working alone at night

Requirement to hire staff, erect safety barriers not practical for all employers

Retailers in British Columbia struggling to meet the province’s requirements for employees working alone will have a new option, starting in April 2012.

WorkSafeBC’s board of directors approved the new option after it became clear there were implementation issues and challenges with the existing regulations. Currently, employers with staff working alone are required to erect barriers or hire additional staff.

But three pilot projects and an independent evaluation proved those two options weren’t practical for all late-night retailers, according to WorkSafeBC.

So it came up with a third option for employers — implementing a number of rigorous controls. If an employer chooses the third option, it must implement all of the following controls:

•a time lock safe on the premises that cannot be opened during late-night hours

•cash and lottery tickets that are not reasonably required in order to operate during late night hours are stored in the time lock safe

•good visibility into and out of the premises

•the premises must be monitored by video surveillance

•there must be signs on the premises indicating that the safe is a time lock safe that cannot be opened during late night hours, there is a limited amount of accessible cash and lottery tickets on the premises, and the premises are monitored by video surveillance.

If employers choose this option, workers on the late-night shift must be at least 19 and be provided with emergency transmitters that are monitored by the employer, a security company or other person designated by the employer.

This third option does not replace the existing two options, it just gives employers one more way to comply with the regulations.

WorkSafeBC’s board of directors approved the amendments to Part 4 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation. The amendments become effective on April 15, 2012.

Latest stories